Classic Jane’s Addiction Line-Up Captivates Sold-Out Manchester O2 Apollo [Photos]

The original Jane’s Addiction line-up proved as captivating as ever when they arrived in the UK for a short run of shows…



Jane's Addiction, photo by Frank Ralph Photography

It’s fair to say that Jane’s Addiction led the way for the success of alternative music in the 90’s, even though they barely made it into that decade before splitting up. With their first 2 studio albums they made era defining music and their farewell tour created the touring festival Lollapalooza, which brought together all kinds of artists from all kinds of genres and set the benchmark for all that followed.

To have them back as the original classic line-up is nothing short of a miracle.

All four members of this incarnation of Jane’s Addiction are phenomenal in their own right. You could isolate each of their parts and still have exceedingly listenable music, but the combination of all four of them together is what puts them on another level compared to many other bands.

The rumbling of Eric Avery’s bass lines and Stephen Perkins powerful pounding on the drum kit create a tribal undertone allowing Dave Navarro’s chainsaw guitars and Perry Farrell’s layered vocals to cut through the heaviness with beautiful melodies creating a hypnotic sound that lifts you to another plain.

The setlist drew heavily from their era defining albums Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual with the rest coming from the 1987 live album Jane’s Addiction. Only one new track,“Imminent Redemption,” was later than 1991 and sounded promising as far as new Jane’s music goes.

“Up the Beach,” “Whores” and “Had a Dad” kicked things off. It was wall to wall bodies in the Apollo with virtually no room to move yet limbs and beers were flailed rhythmically all night. It was a hot ticket that instantly turned the Apollo into a hot box. In Perry’s words, Manchester is a sacred place for Jane’s Addiction as many of bands that inspired them back in the day, came from here, and it did feel like they’d turned things up a notch in tribute. Having had the pleasure to see them play a festival headline set (read our review of their set at Bearded Theory Festival here) and this show within a week it was this one that felt more visceral and dangerous.

35 years ago, Perry would have been hurling his slender frame carelessly around the stage, but nowadays he’s a dapperly dressed frontman who quaffs wine from the bottle mid song and is still as engaging as he ever was. Eric Avery slung his bass around like it had said something to upset him, while Perkins beat the living daylights out of his kit, and Dave Navarro… well Dave Navarro is just a beautiful man.

“Been Caught Stealing,” “Ocean Size” and “Stop!” closed the main show in a little over an hour, which seemed fairly short at the time. They all sounded incredible, although Perry did almost shout his way through “Stealing” a bit. “Ocean Size” sounded huge and “Stop!” stole the show with its frenetic energy.

A couple of encores finished everything off with a bang. The sprawling “Three Days” and highlight of the set “Mountain Song,” both driven by Avery’s basslines and a brutally tribal “Chip Away” put a full stop on the night.

The most important band of their time are back and they’re still one of the most captivating, hypnotic and powerful bands on the planet. May this incarnation of Jane’s Addiction stick around for a while so they can receive the plaudits they absolutely deserve.


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